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DoNo – English

Accéder à la traduction en français : Do No – French





Do ris Kollmann – drawing

No riaki Hosoya – bass

Studio Doris Kollmann, Berlin 2016*

Improvisation has a sound of easy-going, it is connected with the state of “Flow” or “Awareness”, yet it is a great adventure, as it asks us to go onto the journey without navigation system. In our DoNo improvisations we do not speak about equipment, the length of the journey, nor do we have any plan or idea beforehand. We follow our intuition and create moments from what we felt on the moment.

Doris Kollmann prepares the setting, Noriaki Hosoya brings the bass.

In 2016, on May 27, The Berlin improvisation takes place in Doris’ studio, all walls, ceiling and floor are covered with white paper – a white cave. Emptiness is the first impulse we received from this setting. Seclusion may be another one.

Wrapped Studio Berlin
Wrapped studio Doris Kollmann, Berlin, 2016*

Videos of the Berlin improvisation, Part 1 and 2:

Also for the Kyoto improvisation which took place in November 2019, Doris prepared the setting, Noriaki brought the bass.

Japanese House Kyoto
Paper banners in abandoned traditional Japanese house, Kyoto 2019

Videos of the Kyoto improvisation, Part 1 and 2 :

Air, light and melancholy were impulses we received from the setting. Maybe also familiarity and friendship.

In each improvisation we discovered very different landscapes, were literally in two different continents, and had a lot of “heritage” in our package when starting.

During the course of each performance this heritage was thrown piece by piece over board, the nakedness of the setting was filled with discoveries made in momentum, our education, expectations, our anxiety vanished as we moved forward into time.

Drawings by Doris Kollmann, sound by Noriaki Hosoa, Kyoto 2019

The greatest adventure is to NOT rely on your so called personality but to trust on the evolution of the moment. Everything you need is already there.

We are looking forward to many more journeys together.

Doris Kollmann, Berlin, June 7, 2020.
Noriaki Hosoya, Tokyo, June 8, 2020.

Gunkanjima (English version)

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Ghost Island

Noémi Lefebvre

(from her blog médiapart)

Gunkanjima is a place, a ghost island, a warship, an accumulation of buildings, an urban system, concrete composition, a mining town, an energy era, a geological hole, some pure coal called diamond. It is a switched-off function, a cemetery of objects, beds, tables, TVs, radios, calculating machines, sewing machines, typewriters, toys, curtains, fans, shoes, papers, bowls, sinks, fallen roofs, broken window panes, bird calls, rubble, a telluric city in the middle of the sea, outpost of chaos, nature after man, a silent place from where music begins.

Gunkanjima is a musical place of research and creation, an open construct, a sound fabric, an ensemble associating timbres, some broken up language, ancient poetry, bruitism, onomatopoeia, animal-human song and screaming, organism and machine, a territory of invention situated in this post-industrial time and in this globalized space where we have to live. This ensemble of six musicians demonstrates that research and creation are not two separated domains, but that they are as indispensable one to another as are work and play, memory and forgetfulness, knowledge and uncertainty, intention and invention.

This music of the present, in the making, obliges us to break with habits and classifications in trends, aesthetics, genres, cultural influences, to refuse decidedly any identification to already known consensual frameworks, which tend to place the artists in front of a paradox: one should invent in continuity, look for ideas without crossing the prescribed limits, create something new following the line, without getting out of the context organized by designations, as if these designations were here to stay for ever, whereas they appeared themselves at a given moment in order to burst other paradigms apart, define something that the old classifications were unable to grasp.

We may try to situate Gunjanjima in a trend: rock without a doubt, free evidently, electroacoustic indisputably, contemporary music absolutely!

At the same time no; it would be equally inappropriate to say that this creation is under European or Japanese influence, from somewhere or from nowhere, best not to look for a provenance or an affiliation, we have even to renounce discovering a multicultural origin in hearing it, or an expression of “world music”. The origin of Gunkanjima is not somewhere, here, elsewhere or everywhere: its origin is a project, and the origin of the project a desire for a shared project by musicians who bring to it their personality, their energy and their imaginary.

The habits of classifying, in which overlap the modes of acknowledgement of socio-musical spaces, the organizations of distribution networks, the formalizations of musical criticism, the commercial rationales, tend to be prolonged in listening criteria and to prescribe a sort of attention displacement on to categories. Do they necessarily discard the possibility to hear what is being played? It does not matter if our listening is informed by a history of representations, by an acculturation or by education, because even if we have evidently some sound references, there is a moment in which experience cannot rely on experience, a moment in which what we hear is awaking clear audible understanding, is disconnecting knowledge from erudition, awareness from boredom, listening from memory, perception from prejudgments, acculturation from cultural history. This moment is what Gunkanjima realizes.

But how?

Hashima was a black rock island off Nagasaki, where the first big concrete apartment complexes in Japan were built for a population that came to work at the exploitation of coal. This island, progressively enlarged to reach 480 meters long by 160 wide, overcrowded, transformed into “Gunkanjima”, “warship” in Japanese, for the intensive coal exploitation by Mitsubishi, was never conceived according to a general plan of urban development. The buildings were gradually added, as the mining activity intensified, until it was decided, in 1974, to close the mine and that all the inhabitants should leave the island within a few weeks. Nevertheless, all these buildings, impressive by their height and imbrication, are linked to each other through several levels and form a mega-structure and some circulations, which integrate some public spaces, aisles, terraces, a main square “Ginza Hashima”, as if there could have been an initial urban design.

Of course, this mode of urban construction is not specific to the Hashima island. Most towns, described a posteriori as extremely complex and coherent organisms, can display ingenuity of general structure and of circulation nevertheless invisible to those who built it. But the ghost-towns reveal it better than others: it seems that the cessation of all activities and the disappearance of any human presence render possible an organic analysis coldly after the fact. Sometimes the dead bodies have to be observed in order to understand the living ones.

To observe coldly after the fact the music of Gunkanjima is not possible: even if it is burned on a CD, it is not fixed! For the concert is not the public restitution of the recorded work; instead, through the gathering of musicians in rehearsals and on stage, at each performance, Gunkanjima is created and recreated. Therefore the musicological analysis of a “musical text” defined once and for all would most probably not be able to seize the creative energy, which determines its strength and its form, in the first place because there is no text, and then because this non existent text is constantly modified. The graphic scores created for Gunkanjima have a musical function inscribed in play. In this passage, for example, called the space, in which the musical idea of a “living space but with almost nothing” is developed, the graphic score is used foremost as a reminder of what, in improvisation and in the proposed ideas, will serve as benchmark or as thread, from which is developed a freedom of play. Everything is constructed, nothing is determined in advance.

No way to relate the realization to a prior idea, no certainty, no prediction, and nevertheless there is a circulation, an ensemble of networks. The musical elaborations of Gunkanjima are elaborated little by little, in a common research, with some materials, chosen constraints and a lot of imagination. These music pieces have their specific form and their own matter, and little by little, these pieces connect in a pathway. As the musician guitarist Gilles Laval says concerning the initial creation of the group: “we arrive somewhere, we come out again, then it continues, we don’t know where it leads, I like this idea of some cooking that is grasped at a given moment, it opens and it closes, and in fact, the cooking continues, it still leaves some traces”. As in the case of the island, of which the human history, linked to the intensive coal exploitation, does not constitute a whole as such outside history, in Gunkanjima there is no beginning nor ending, but a living, poetic and violent moment, fugitive with regard to the thousand years of necessary sedimentations to transform the vegetal and organic debris into coal, a human time in a long history without humans, which as such lets itself be grasped, immediately, as soon as it begins, this is why, in concert as in CD form, the pieces are not pieces.

It is possible to listen to an isolated track of the CD, but in reality the music is made up by a single continuous piece; “I cannot imagine that the piece could be stopped at some moment, and then to start again; for me it is a single piece from beginning to end, there are things happening, and then in the same way I started off from this story, from this island, and then I could not see how to divide this town into fragments of town”, explains Gilles Laval.

The vitality of this ensemble lies in the rapprochement of personalities whose musical worlds are already present. “When I gathered together this group, I knew that they were individualities. Each person is able to develop her/his projects alone”. The equilibrium is found in co-construction, in which whoever pretends to be the leader [chef] is nothing more than a liar [menteur]: “each person is at his/her place and the detail is discussed more and more. These are musical discussions in the course of elaborating propositions, each one speaks and may intervene. The decisions are always based on common choices”.

Gunkanjima, the island, is not a distant theme, exotic pretext to make music, it is constitutive of its architecture. It is not a stylistic subject, an allegory, a theme from the past, this is why there is no point in looking for Japanizing references or anything that is overplaying Japanese music. If there is something of Japan in this music, it is because three out of the six musicians are Japanese. The time is creation or is nothing at all.

Translation by Jean-Charles and Nancy François

See also the blog chronicle of June 20, 2015.

Transversal (English version)

For an

The station « Transversal » is composed, on the one hand, of a collective text written by the members of PAALabRes in the form of an “exquisite corpse” game, each contribution being visually presented in different manners, and, on the other hand, by three transversal escapes: a) a text on the notion of hybrid and on related artistic forms; b) a text with references to the “créolisation” of the world according to Edouard Glissant; and c) a text with references to the idea of plural culture, according to, among others, Michel de Certeau.



« Transversal »: Paalabres Collective
« Créolisation »
Culture in the Plural
Return to the French text


Transversal – Paalabres Collective

This is a spineless concept difficult to grasp.
If one replaces “v” par “p”, one would get something that would transpierce, that would have a phallocentric impact. But a transversal line only traverses and one has difficulties to stop it in its trajectory, and to reflect upon it.

To pierce the clouds, to traverse them. To transgress.

If one replaces “v” by “f”, one would get transfer (of stocks?), transition to the inflexibility of fer-ruginous matter. But the idea of transport (travel, love-making?) imbedded in “trans” is to go in “verses” towards indeterminacy, in a peregrination of diverse perverse fevers. One would be carried away by the trans-fair.

In ball games, “transversal” means a long passing shot across the width of the field that would reverse the game. Then, one has to be clever, skillful in sending and receiving the ball. This implies not only the receiver of this pass, but also all the participants. One never sufficiently considers the things and the people that make the actions possible. We should not forget that all penalty shots at 3 points in the net are welcome, and please not on the post!

And if one starts by taking out the “n”… The noises, the images, the odors, the tastes, the contacts and the senses traverse, in reverse also, and then diverge, and do the inverse too, whether going into a trance or not.

— You said trans, transverse and salsa, vestal, transversal?

Beware, above all to not replace the “v” by a “grrrr” of aggressive transgression.

— My transversal, but what’s the matter with my transversal?

The “it” of intestinal transit should be avoided, of sonata transition, of transitory elements in sound envelopes in the acoustical domain.

Is transversal anything that cuts across perpendicularly the longitudinal axis of an elongated form. And this is very important! For example, in modern differential topology, the study of which, it should be remembered, was started by René Thom on ideas by Poincaré (Henri, the cousin of Raymond) and which is based on the notion of transverse sub-varieties. Good night.

Certain persons go as far as saying that the dislocations of the earth’s crust are transversal faults, according to cnrtl!

To go directly to something.

In musical practices “in acts”, do not believe that financial transactions are part of them.

See the synonyms of “transversal”, there is no antonym?

The notion of instability refers to something unsteady, fragile, wavering between two ideas. Should we rather understand it as “never having the expected form”; “going towards”, etc?
The idea of transversal consists in having all the terms like fragility, stammering, attempts, round trips, displacements, migrations, transfers, etc., converge in a logic of an absolutely inexorable evolution, proper to the life of practices.

To what is it opposed?
It is opposed to, say: root, race, origin, purity, original sin, DNA …

Dog – Reality is not below the animal, even if political. It is not around, it is not to be seized, it is not a framework, not a finality. Reality is something you traverse. Writing, living in general, it is always something to be traversed.

Vestal trance, vesperal tramp, Enter the versed ballad

According to who says it, it is a real travelling across, or the use of an institutional language that does not change anything.

“One arrives somewhere, one comes out again, then it continues, one does not know where it leads; I like this idea of a music that is there, that one grasps at a given moment, it opens out, and then it closes, and in fact the music continues, it continues to leave some traces.”

Situated across something

Everything would be fairly clear if within each large category of practice we were in presence of a unity of comportments and of aesthetics. Now, the diversity of modes of functioning is not organized in borders defining genres, but is expressed within each genre in itself. For example, in the jazz world, some people want to work only with written scores, and others, on the contrary, like to insist on the conditions of an oral transmission. In the contemporary music world, almost no relationships exist between those who write scores, those who improvise, and those who have chosen to express themselves with electroacoustic means. In traditional world music one can find those who are aiming to recreate the authenticity of a disappearing social practice, and those who want to adapt their practice to the conditions of our own social life. In amplified music, there are only few common points in the ways of doing things between techno, hip-hop, rock, and those who are influenced by other types of music. One could say that every day, in all domains, a new genre emerges.

Transversal is always a transfer salve,
it obliges to anoint ones own practices with improper elements.
You can’t traverse, go across, without getting wet.
The traverse stains.
Traverse mucks up (traverse yuk!).

It does not always happen as expected, sometimes it slips… through the net,
it falls in the trap set…, sometimes it travels not straight.

The traversion, it is the aversion of the traverse: it has to go straight

some think that they are not transversable, the damn fools!

A music of the present time can be envisioned, as time unfolding in the making that in a way would oblige us to break with the habits of classifying in trends, aesthetics, genres, cultural influences, so as really refusing any identification to already known consensual frameworks that tend to place the artists before a paradox: one should invent in continuity, search for ideas, without exceeding the limits, create a new thread, some newness but without escaping the context organized by designations, as if these designations were there for ever, whereas they themselves appeared at a given moment, in order to get rid of other paradigms, to qualify something that the old classifications were not able to grasp.

“When a group is formed, one knows that it is composed by individualities. Each person is able to develop her/his projects alone. The equilibrium is found in co-construction, in which whoever pretends to be the leader [chef] is nothing more than a liar [menteur]: each person is at his/her place and the detail is discussed more and more. These are musical discussions in the course of elaborating propositions, each one speaks and may intervene. The decisions are always based on common choices.

In transverse, of transvermeil, through transverb, to the transvair.


“One arrives somewhere, one comes out again, then it continues, one does not know where it leads, I like this idea of some cooking that is grasped at a given moment, it opens and it closes, and in fact, the cooking continues, it still leaves some traces.”

In the conception of transversal, it would be as inappropriate to say that such or such creation mixes influences from diverse origins, as to say it comes from somewhere or from nowhere; it is best not to search for a provenance nor for an affiliation, it is even necessary to renounce contemplating a multicultural origin, or an expression of world music. The origin of a music of transversality is here, there and everywhere: its origin is a project, and the origin of the project a desire for a project shared with musicians who bring to it their personality, their energy and their imagination.

If one utilizes it to keep the compartmentalization and the silos on the pretext of the qualifying value of some sprinkling of actions…


Contributions of the PaaLabRes collective— 2015


Three transversal escapes

« Créolisation »
Culture in the Plural

 For an itinerary-song, towards…